SHING-TUNG YAU, Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University, is a Chinese American mathematician working in differential geometry. He was born in Shantou, Guangdong Province, China into a family of scholars from Jiaoling, Guangdong Province.
Yau's contributions have had an influence on both physics and mathematics. Calabi–Yau manifolds are among the 'standard toolkit' for string theorists today. He has been active at the interface between geometry and theoretical physics. His proof of the positive energy theorem in general relativity demonstrated—sixty years after its discovery—that Einstein's theory is consistent and stable. His proof of the Calabi conjecture allowed physicists—using Calabi-Yau compactification—to show that string theory is a viable candidate for a unified theory of nature.
He has been a Professor of Mathematics at Harvard since 1987. He has also worked at Stanford, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the University of California at San Diego. He has served as a visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley, the California Institute of Technology, and Columbia. Yau has won many awards over the course of his career, including the Fields Medal, the National Medal of Science, a MacArthur Fellowship, the Crafoord Prize, the Veblen Prize, and the California Scientist of the Year. In 1993, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He is the editor or serves on the editorial board of 10 mathematics journals. He has published more than 250 articles and written and edited more than 20 books. A highly sought-after lecturer, Yau is frequently interviewed for radio, TV, and print media stories.
He is the co-author (with Steve Nadis) of The Shape of Inner Space: String Theory and the Geometry of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions